. * Photo by Molly Montag.

APHA Reinstates Obstacles Banned Due to COVID-19

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will allow show producers to resume using some obstacles it had banned from some classes, including ranch-related class, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based association announced its Board of Directors voted to give show producers the options of reinstating touch-point obstacles from APHA classes. These obstacles, which it temporarily banned last May, include the rope drag, rope pull, mailbox, gate, carrying an object and slicker.

They were used in SC-301.E (Ranch Trail), SC-250 (Open Trail), SC-192 (Yearling In-Hand Trail) and SC-230 (Utility Driving).

Officials say it made the move to reinstate the objects because infection rates have continued to decline in some areas in recent months, and several states have lifted mandatory mask requirements.

They say show producers are able to use those obstacles – which are still an option, not mandatory – in their patterns again. Officials say the touch-point obstacles will remain optional until further notice.